Here’s how a carbon-free society will ruin our nation’s finances – Bernard Ingham

18 July 2019......     Protest group Extinction Rebellion 'die' on Briggate in Leeds  a publicty act  Picture Tony Johnson.
18 July 2019...... Protest group Extinction Rebellion 'die' on Briggate in Leeds a publicty act Picture Tony Johnson.
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AS one privileged to pontificate in public – some would say rant – I must confess: I am a political and social liability.

I reckon the Government should do as I do – live within its means – and I am immensely sceptical about runaway global warming.

Remembrance Day service in Halifax town centre

Remembrance Day service in Halifax town centre

Yet what are our blessed politicians doing?

Chucking our money about with the abandon of a spoiled brat and competing in the environmental virtue stakes, regardless of the consequences for energy supply, to make us carbon-free.

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Right across the political spectrum common sense seems to have flown out of the window.

Climate protestors, Extinction Rebellion block Derek Dooley Way in Sheffield at Bridgehouse Roundabout to disrupt the morning rush hour traffic flow into the city

Climate protestors, Extinction Rebellion block Derek Dooley Way in Sheffield at Bridgehouse Roundabout to disrupt the morning rush hour traffic flow into the city

I freely confess I am not helping.

Though I still pay income tax, I am a drain on the nation’s finances with a Civil Service pension, medicine on the NHS and help with welfare.

Extinction Rebellion would argue that I am a positive menace because I have just had my 50-year-old gas central heating system replaced – with gas – and have an asthma inhaler which apparently adds to carbon dioxide “pollution”.

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Climate protestors, Extinction Rebellion block Derek Dooley Way in Sheffield at Bridgehouse Roundabout to disrupt the morning rush hour traffic flow into the city

Climate protestors, Extinction Rebellion block Derek Dooley Way in Sheffield at Bridgehouse Roundabout to disrupt the morning rush hour traffic flow into the city

Let me deal first with the current political spending spree.

I do not deny that our services and infrastructure are wearing thin.

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This is the result of the necessary tightening of belts after Gordon Brown’s £153bn deficit combined with the 2008 financial crisis, inefficiency and the tendency for local government to neglect essential services – e.g. potholes – for politically correct wheezes and self-aggrandisement.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Members of The Red Brigade of The Invisible Circus gesture to police by Lambeth Bridge on October 7, 2019 in London, England. Climate change activists are gathering to block access to various government departments as they start a two week protest in central London (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Members of The Red Brigade of The Invisible Circus gesture to police by Lambeth Bridge on October 7, 2019 in London, England. Climate change activists are gathering to block access to various government departments as they start a two week protest in central London (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

It is true that slowly – too slowly for my liking – the Tories have drastically reduced, if not eliminated, the budget deficit over the nine years. But now some estimates put their borrowing next year for election commitments at £75bn.

This may be half Brown’s record but it is not housewifely economics.

Of course, Chancellor Sajid Javid justifies his £300bn spree over time as taking advantage of rock-bottom interest rates and calls his spending on services and infrastructure “investment”.

That has shades of Gordon Brown.

The return on this “investment” is not clear, though anything that facilitates transport and improves the health and education of the nation will help to offset the cost. But the rest will still have to be paid for by our grandchildren.

Yet Javid looks to be almost the very model of financial virtue compared with Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

Sir Bernard Ingham visited Leeds promoting a new book. Sir Bernard, originally from Hebden Bridge, was press secretary to ex Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.   story from sheena hastings

Sir Bernard Ingham visited Leeds promoting a new book. Sir Bernard, originally from Hebden Bridge, was press secretary to ex Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. story from sheena hastings

They reportedly propose to “invest” anything between £600bn and £1.2 trillion – between one and two-thirds of the national debt – over time.

This cannot be paid for by taxing the rich.

In any case, the rich won’t be here to have their pips squeaked, as Denis Healey put it in the 1970s.

They will have fled abroad with their pips.

And what is the point of chucking ever more money at the NHS while at the same time reducing the working week to four days when the European Working Time Directive is, according to medics, partly responsible for the pressures on it?

Do these damned politicians ever think about the consequences of their actions?

Their approach to global warming proves conclusively that the Tories still don’t realise you can’t run our economy on intermittent wind, waves, tides, sun and water power without reliable supplementary fossil fuels – notably gas.

After all, they have put a moratorium on fracking.

Corbyn and Co, like Extinction Rebellion, don’t trouble themselves about continuous supply.

They simply aim to wreck the capitalist system which up to now has been driven by fossil fuels.

They will not entertain nuclear
power, allegedly on safety grounds but
in reality because it would keep the
hated system going without carbon emissions.

Yet what are Marxist/Communist states like Russia and China doing? Going nuclear.

Russia has just announced the
building of two more nuclear powered icebreakers which suggests global warming has a long way to go yet before it fries us.

I have been waiting for 30 years for the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean to disappear beneath the waves. There is a curious malaise abroad – infecting Western Europe, too – that is literally putting supposed virtue before common interest.

Can Western politicians not see that weakening their economies – whether by profligate spending or ill-considered environmentalism – is just what the Kremlin ordered?

Ironically, we must except President Donald Trump who is pulling out of the ineffective UN fight against global warming partly because it has been hijacked by the Left to bribe undeveloped nations. Do I need to say more? Perhaps I am not such a social and political liability after all.